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Public lecture by Dr Melanie Keene



Scientific explanations have often relied on common objects, from watches to grains of sand, to provide an understanding of the natural world. The use of familiar things to illustrate scientific theories was particularly prevalent and powerful in the mid-nineteenth century. In this talk we will see how many different household artefacts - from candles to cups of tea, pebbles to primroses, salt to see-saws - were used to instruct new audiences in the science of common things.